I just got off the phone with a friend, who is a student pastor in a very large ministry. He is in his late thirties, married and has three kids, and has climbed the influence ladder, because his ministry is pulling in thousands of teenagers from all over his city and the country. He gets calls to speak at leadership conferences for church growth gurus-in-the-making. His salary is easily six figures. He is on a pedestal, as he trains others on how they can repeat his success in their ministry. He just admitted to me that he has not been out of bed for seven days because of depression. When Moses saw the burning bush, it was aflame but not consumed. It was because the oil of the Spirit of God burned and not it’s flesh…
It’s the same with busy, successful humans.
I can relate to him. I know what it is like to try to keep a facade up that makes me appear put together in front of others. It is especially difficult in front of those that I feel look to me for inspiration. It was only after my career airplane crashed internally that I realized that I don’t have to perform for anybody. The fact that I offer a “realness” rawness has actually caused people to come to me and say, “Thank God you quit acting like a freaking guru! We learn so much more when you are just the Brady we know!”
My friend, lying in bed with a TV on in the background, told me that he had let everyone down. He is done. He can’t cut the mustard anymore. God is a million miles away from him, and he can’t fake it anymore. I asked him, “When was the last time you sat down to let God pour into your life?” He gave me the same crap answer so many give, “Everyday.”
My only statement to him, because I relate to him and to where he is at the moment, was this, “Jesus Christ died for the church, you don’t have to do it also.”
Doing work FOR God but WITHOUT God destroys the work OF God, in one’s life. My friend needs a continued personal solitude. He needs soul rest on a regular basis.
So do all of us.
Life goes nuts when the control of space, people and things become our sole priority. Nothing is more amazing and useful than power, but nothing is more scary. Humans are so good at filling space with things. Things likes cars and houses, but also other things like busyness. Where we fail is in the area of “time.”
We know what to do with space, but we don’t know what to do with our time. Since we cannot control time, we put our energies on the space of our lives and neglect time. It is impossible for anybody to ignore the problem of time.
It is easier to settle for average, than take time for achievement.
It is easier to be saturated with complacency, than to take time to be stirred with compassion.
It is easier to be skeptical, than to take time to see potential.
It is easier to blame the clock, than to embrace a moment in time.
Author James Allen says, “You will be as small as your controlling desire, and as great as your dominant aspiration.” Our lives begin to shrink, when we fail to sense the awesomeness of time. It is not things sitting in our space that lend significance to a moment; it is the moment that gives significance to our things. Often people worry that if they don’t rush, they will accomplish less, and not be able to acquire stuff for their space. However, we can survive without hurry, and we can live without more stuff for our space.
Even CEOs are realizing that a slower, more comfortable work atmosphere lends to greater productivity. Jesus Christ engaged in solitude frequently. At the beginning of His ministry, He went into the wilderness for extended periods of time, for fasting and prayer. He broke away from crowds and busyness, to practice solitude and soul rest. If the King of Kings slowed down, what do we think we need to do?
If we put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it jumps out. However, if we put a frog in water that is room temperature and heat it slowly, he stays there until he boils to death. Put the frog in a lethal environment, and he escapes. Yet, introduce the danger gradually, and he never notices.
Year ago, I heard John Ortberg say, “you must ruthlessly eliminate “hurry” out of your life.” The truth is that the dangers to which we are most vulnerable are generally not the sudden, obvious ones. They are the ones that creep up on us. When they become a fixture in our lives’ environment, we don’t even notice.
**For more, check out my book,”THE HOPE MANIFESTO”.
CLICK HERE FOR ORDER INFO.